Extreme Couponing: How Do They Get It All for Free?
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Extreme Couponing: How Do They Get It All for Free?

Posted on Tuesday, May 10th, 2011 at 10:12 am
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Am I the only one who envies, just a little bit, the people on the Extreme Couponing show? Watching these coupon clippers get their groceries for free can be inspiring and even a little uncomfortable. My fingers start itching to clip coupons and get my groceries for free, too.

Is Extreme Couponing Misleading?

Of course, the show can be a little bit misleading. It isn’t as though the shopper makes up a normally weekly grocery list, finds the coupons afterwards and applies them all to get their free groceries. It is more like they start with the coupons and get a large multiple of very specific products for free.

Extreme couponers combine low sale prices with high value coupons and then stock up on multiple coupons, clearing the shelves of products. So while they may have five carts of free groceries, everything in those carts may be multiples of just a few items, such as 100 candy bars, 100 bars of soap and 100 tubes of toothpaste.

How it Works

Here is how it works. Let us say that those candy bars are on sale for $1 each. In the newspaper is a coupon for $1 off of that same candy. This makes the candy free. The extreme couponer stocks up on that $1 coupon in several ways. They may ask friends and family for extra coupons, they may buy extra newspapers to get more coupons, they may climb into the dumpsters to retrieve coupons or most likely, they will buy multiples of the coupon they need.

Once they have as many coupons as they can get, let us say 100 of the $1 off candy bar coupon, they head to the store. They purchase the number of products for the number of coupons that they have: 100 candy bars. Then they give the cashier the coupons, and the total winds up being zero. Extreme couponers may have several of these types of low sale products and coupons that they can combine in any shopping trip.

Are All the Groceries Free?

On their next shopping trip, the extreme couponers will focus on a different set of products for low sales and coupons. Over time, these savvy shoppers will build up a stockpile of certain items, so they never have to pay for them. That doesn’t mean that they always get everything for free. Items such as fresh produce or meat is usually harder to get for free with extreme couponing, although there are other techniques that help, such as using overages and catalina coupons, that reduce the grocery bill total.

Getting Started with Extreme Couponing

The bottom line is that there are solid techniques that currently work to get you groceries for free when you practice extreme couponing. You can learn how to combine sales and coupons and do all of the other things that will result in free groceries.

While you may not want to eat or even store 100 candy bars, you could use extreme couponing to stock up on a handful of candy bars for movie nights or apply the same strategies to get other more useful things for free, in the amounts that your family will use within a reasonable time.

I’ve written several blog posts on FreeCoupons.com that will teach you How to Coupon, How to Save and the more intense techniques of Extreme Couponing.

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.